Best PracticesTalent Leadership

How to build your talent brand with recruiting best practices

Andrew Golden

Andrew Golden

Content Marketing Manager

Posted on

October 17, 2022

Today’s businesses are dealing with unprecedented challenges in recruiting and retention. Good pay and benefits are no longer enough to attract candidates to a new opportunity. Today’s top talent expects scheduling flexibility, a diverse workforce, and a powerful, positive company brand—along with competitive pay. The COVID-19 pandemic caused many workers to re-evaluate whether their current opportunities were delivering on those expectations—and many chose to leave for greener pastures when they didn’t. In fact, over 47 million Americans quit their jobs during the pandemic. Luckily for job seekers, there’s no shortage of employment opportunities. But recruiters still struggle to source qualified talent—and to hold their interest once they do. 

How can you compete with all of the opportunities today’s talent has, especially those whose models don’t allow for huge paychecks or remote work options? By cultivating a strong talent brand. 

Talent brand isn’t what your company wants to be; it’s what current employees and candidates say you are on social media, Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn reviews, and word of mouth. It’s how candidates and employees alike perceive your company’s culture, structure, and values. Getting talent brand right can be the difference between success and failure in a tight labor market; a strong talent brand reduces the cost per hire by up to 50% and can decrease turnover by up to 28%, according to the LinkedIn Employer Brand Handbook

The recruitment process is where your talent brand is determined—for better or for worse. About 85% of people read online reviews before applying to a company, and that social proof makes or breaks your talent brand. It’s critical to make sure your recruitment process is a positive experience for candidates from beginning to end—regardless of whether they take the job or move on. Utilize these four best practices during recruitment to help build a positive talent brand. 

Create a personalized sourcing experience

When you’re seeking out new candidate leads, it’s no longer enough to simply message prospects on LinkedIn out of the blue. Today’s candidates expect a personalized sourcing process geared directly to their experience and interests. When candidates have hundreds of postings to compare, they’ll invest more in those recruiters and companies that show they value candidates as individuals. 

You deliver a personalized sourcing experience by carefully tracking interactions, even in long-term nurture situations, and ensuring your follow-ups are strategic and individualized. But keeping track of personal details and conversation history for hundreds of prospects is daunting and time-consuming for your recruiters. This is where leveraging recruitment technology like a candidate relationship management (CRM) platform comes in handy. 

Be authentic in your interviews

Give candidates an authentic glimpse of what life at your company is like during the interview process. To do that, you must first understand what the current perceptions are. See what the internet is saying about your interview process on sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed. Look for patterns in both the good and bad comments. For example, if many reviews applaud how quickly candidates were contacted and interviewed, make sure that process stays the same. If many reviews complain about how disorganized and time-consuming your interview cycles are, that’s an area that needs immediate attention. 

Use these reviews to guide your recruitment improvement, but make sure your new-and-improved recruiting process authentically reflects your workplace. Anonymously poll new hires on whether their recruitment and onboarding experiences gave them an accurate idea of what the company culture is like. If they say no, you need to work on improving your company culture or giving employees a more honest glimpse of your business’s challenges during interviews. 

It’s critical that the positive impression you’ve made on candidates doesn’t end at offer acceptance. Otherwise, employees may feel tricked. This phenomenon, called Shift Shock, can spell disaster for your talent brand and lead to the turnover of new hires. A survey by The Muse found that 80% of people would leave a new job in less than six months if it wasn’t accurately represented during recruitment. Instead of repeating overused platitudes, focus on your company’s unique differentiators to build authenticity. What does your business do differently than everyone else? What weird quirks or perks shape your employees’ experience? Sharing those traits will go far in creating an honest, unique candidate interview experience. Even if candidates choose not to accept your offer, your interactions will have built positive associations with your talent brand that will result in your next star hire.

Focus on candidate experience 

Once a candidate is through interviews, it’s up to you to get them a competitive offer package as quickly as possible. A 2021 survey by CareerPlug found that 85% of respondents listed “Responsiveness later in the hiring process” as an “important” or “very important” factor in deciding whether to accept a position. That’s even more critical today than in years past, as candidates are likely to be entertaining multiple offers at once. In this stage, efficiency is key to keeping your ideal hire’s attention and completing their hiring process as soon as possible. 

Improve your talent brand with Gem 

Cultivating your talent brand isn’t a one-time task; you must continuously improve your hiring process, monitor reviews from candidates and recent hires, and keep up with the latest recruitment trends. Our 2022 Recruiting Trends report found that over half of all companies are focused on diversity hiring, improving talent sourcing processes, and creating more data-driven recruitment practices this year. 

Gem’s talent nurture dashboard allows you to track interactions and job position updates, craft personalized notes, and set important reminders for each candidate all in one place. Say you reach out to a qualified prospect who tells you they may be open to a new opportunity once they come back from maternity leave in two months. You can enter notes about their new baby and a follow-up date of two months from now right into the CRM. When it’s time to reach back out, whichever recruiter receives the notification will pick up the conversation right where it was left. They’ll know to congratulate the candidate on their baby, creating a personalized experience that makes them feel remembered and valued. 

Gem also allows you to set up strategic long-term nurture campaigns, where candidates or those who have expressed interest in your company can receive regularly scheduled emails with information and updates. Use these campaigns to share company wins, culture stories, benefits information, and employee testimonials to further build your talent brand. 

Our talent CRM greatly frees up your time, so your employees can focus on closing the deal. Set Gem to send newer prospects nurture emails or follow-ups on a set schedule, and then put them on autopilot while you create offers for candidates further down the pipeline. These efficiencies give recruiters hours back to their day to handle tasks computers cannot — like crafting the perfect offer package in record time. 

Gem’s Talent Compass allows you to track your progress in real time by forecasting and planning goals, finding cost savings, and increasing efficiencies. Talent Sourcing and Outreach enables you to automate many tedious daily functions so they can spend more time sourcing quality talent and building relationships. And Diversity Insights gives you visibility into your diversity hire percentages and bottlenecks so you can ensure you reach your DEI goals. 

Get in touch with us today to see these powerful dashboards in action or skip right to requesting a demo


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